ASVO, Association of Volunteers for Service in Protected Areas was born on 27 January 1989 with a legal identification N° 3-002-098217-17.
We are a non-governmental organization, self-managed and nonprofit. We have been active conservationists in protected areas, beaches and communities in Costa Rica for 25 years, promoting environmental volunteering and social awareness through both Costa Rican and people from different parts of the world.
We currently function as a bridge between civil society and the nature areas, with the objective that more and more people will take action and get involved in a responsible and voluntary way, in the conservation of our natural and cultural patrimony.
Our organization is an open space, for you to act now for the conservation and development of Protected areas, for the benefit of the present and future generations.
The management of National and International volunteer support that contributes to the active conservation and development of initiatives to preserve natural resources, through the effective involvement of society.
To achieve an autonomous and self-sufficient growth, and being recognized for the labor of subsidizing our own projects. To participate in conservation initiatives through the integral development of collaborators and strategic alliances.
Principles and Corporate values
- Efficiency: Capable of prudent judgment, with a base in principles and basic values such as honesty, integrity, order, austerity, and transparence.
- Service: an attitude of availability and generosity towards whomever is engaged in activities with us, or requires our services, collaboration or commitment.
- Quality: Seek perfection where possible, in our service and in our labour ith basis in the clear idea that it is possible to achieve by eliminating as much as possible defects and flaws.
- Pro-activity: facing the future from a positive and active viewpoint, relying on our personal inner strength. Not allowing external circumstances to dominate situations, and being able to anticipate change.
- Commitment: Fulfilling our promises, pacts and obligations of professional performance in agreement with principles and values such as consistence , discipline, excellence, credibility and solidarity.
“How can we achieve that our society actively participates in the process of conservation?”
This was the question that a group of Costa Ricans asked 25 years ago, when they wanted to collaborate voluntarily with the Simon Bolivar National Zoo and in various protected areas. This is how we started.
- 1989: We founded the Asociacion de Voluntarios para el servicio en Areas Protejidas (ASVO) and signed an agreement , which is still valid, with the Ministry of the environment, energy and technology (MINAET), who are the authority responsible for the management of Costa Rica’s rich biological resources. This was the start of our first activities in conservation, with the support of volunteers, in protected areas.
- 1990: We started the decade working with a group of 20 volunteers, participating in different areas. 10 years later we had recruited more than 1000 volunteers to our cause, which finally enabled us to achieve our main objective - going international.
- 2001: We achieved autonomy, and launched a Program for the Conservation of Coastal Marine Resources, with 3 Sea Turtle Conservation projects.
- 2005: The Government declared our organization to be of public interest, by decree N° DAJ-049-2005-MINAE
- 2008: We consolidated our permanent volunteer unit, increasing the budget for each of them and for materials. We also expanded the working areas for the volunteers.
- 2009: We launched our 4th Sea Turtle Conservation project with the opening of Project Playa Montezuma. In 2009 we also received a donation from The Oxford Society Foundation of a 2 hectare property of forested land in Tortuguero. With this we created the Robles-Kaufamn Environmental Education and Investigation Station.
- 2010: The Quelonios del Caribe Environmental station was established in barra de Pacuare, to support the protection of the critically endangered nesting Leatherback turtle. This project also offers environmental education and community outreach.
- 2011: We constructed the first stage of the infrastructure in Robles – Kaufamn station in Tortuguero, thanks to the generous donation of $26,000 by the Oxford Society Foundation, and a further $4000 on behalf of ASVO organization. The infrastructura houses 12 people along with the staff.
- 2012: The Government declared our organization a public utility by decree N° 37102-JP, published in the official paper, La Gaceta #62 del 10 de mayo del 2012.